The last five editions of the Darley Prix Robert Papin (Gr2), the first stage of the Darley Series, went to colts and fillies trained in Great Britain. The 2-year-old race over 1,100 metres (5 1/2 furlongs) was transferred from Maisons-Laffitte, its usual racecourse, to the Deauville straight course because of ground issues on the banks of the Seine.
No less than six of the ten runners are trained in France. The size of the team is not always enough but the level of this squad seems strong enough to defeat the four British raiders.
Who are these invaders? The best is probably A’Ali (Society Rock), the Simon Crisford-trained winner of the Norfolk Stakes (Gr2) at Royal Ascot over 5 furlongs.
Most of the other best runners in the Norfolk have not reappeared since. Only the 6th, King Neptune, competed in the July Stakes (Gr2) over 6 furlongs at the July meeting at Newmarket. He finished 5th that day and was well beaten again. On this occasion, Classy Moon (Malibu Moon) finished right in front of him. Karl Burke, winner of the “Papin” in 2017, delegates the latter to Deauville with another of his horses, Rayong (Mayson), well beaten in the Windsor Castle Stakes (L) at Ascot, then excellent 3rd in the Dragon Stakes (Gr3) at Sandown, where he finished well.
Istanbul (Gutaifan) completes the British raid after an easy victory in Beverley.
On the French side, Jolie (Power) has already run six times and she seems to improve all the time. She finished very close to American raider Maven in the Connolly’s Red Mills Prix du Bois (Gr3) at Chantilly … Experienced, ridden by Maxime Guyon, the filly will probably again run a big race. Fourth in the Bois, Fan Club Rules (Gutaifan) is her again.
Trained by Henri-Alex Pantall, Fantastic Diamond (Sommerabend) clearly beat Marieta for his debut, and the latter has since won very well. My Love’s Passion (Elvstroem), representing Passion Racing Club, finished third in La Flèche (L) just behind Jolie. He had previously beaten Brand New Day, who has just finished fourth in the Haras de Bouquetôt Prix des Rêves d’Or-Jacques Bouchara (L) at Vichy.
Winner of his two races at Compiegne, including a claim for his debut, Salar Island(Sakhee’s Secret) is looking for an upgrade.
Like Fantastic Diamond, Salar Island was supplemented in the race.